17 Tips to Make Life Easier

Happy Friday!

Today I’m posting at the Life List Club. Please come visit me there when you’re done here.

But I just couldn’t leave you all here with nothing fun to read.

I found this list on Pinterest and thought you might find something worthwhile:

17 Ridiculously Useful Tips to Make Life Easier

1. Reheat Pizza

Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove; set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza. I saw this on the cooking channel and it really works.

2. Easy Deviled Eggs

Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal bag and mash yolks till they are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing roughly; cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done – easy clean up.

3. Expanding Frosting

When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.

4. Reheating Breads

To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.

5. Newspaper Weeds Away

Start putting in your plants; work the nutrients into your soil. Wet newspapers and put layers around the plants overlapping as you go; cover with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic; they will not get through wet newspapers.

6. Picking Up Broken Glass

Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you can’t see easily.

7. No More Mosquitoes

Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the mosquitoes away.

8. Squirrel Away!

To keep squirrels from eating your plants sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn’t hurt the plant and the squirrels won’t come near it.

9. Flexible Vacuum

To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.

For the rest of the post, please click HERE. Pay special attention to #17! It could save your life!

See you over at LLC!

What tips do you have to share?

What Do You Choose To Be Called?

Pink Heart

Sexy, smart and strong women have long been nicknamed, most often by men. Some carry negative connotations and others are somewhat endearing.

A few examples:

Skirt, Doll, and Dish – Skirt and Doll imply a cute, flirty and fun girl. Dish says, to me, a woman so delectable, a man can’t live without her.

Broad, Dame and Twist – These are slightly less complimentary. A Broad is a voluptuous woman, mainly in the derriere and one you don’t dare cross. A Dame is like a Broad but she cares a little more about her looks, using well-applied make-up. A Twist, to me, connotes a woman with special skills in the boudoir.

Floozy, Strumpet and Trollop – All of these  names suggest a women with loose morals, but don’t they sound like  potent cocktails (Cherry Floozy) or delicious pastries (Strumpet and cream)?

And then, there are those often offered up with a dose of sarcasm:

Little Miss Sunshine: A woman who happens to be happy with her life and carries through with a positive attitude.

Susie Homemaker: A woman who enjoys making a comfortable home for her family and is adept at baking, decorating and choosing fashionable clothing (or making everything herself).

Superwoman: A woman who balances many hats with aplomb, like elder caretaker, employee, wife, gardener, cook, committee chairperson, community volunteer, PTA president and soccer mom.

The only nickname I wouldn’t mind being called is

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wonder Woman first appeared in a comic book series in 1941.

Feminist, Gloria Steinem chose the image of Wonder Woman for the cover of her first issue of Ms. Magazine in July, 1972.

The TV series, Wonder Woman, followed in the late 1970s, starring Lynda Carter.

She was the perfect woman – powerful, graceful, sexy, tough, smart and compassionate, determined to expose the truth and punish the evil.

She looked really cute in glasses, too.

Male TV viewers fell in love/lust with her.

More than that, Wonder Woman was a great role model for all women. She didn’t let a man push her around, unless she wanted to be pushed.

She believed in herself and followed her heart, even when her path wasn’t what others wanted for her.

According to Wikipedia, “Wonder Woman’s viewpoints and characteristics reflect those of her creator, William Moulton Marston, who was a strong supporter of feminist ideals and female empowerment.

In a 1943 issue of The American Scholar, Marston wrote:

Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power. Not wanting to be girls, they don’t want to be tender, submissive, peace-loving as good women are. Women’s strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness. The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman.”

What image would you be comfortable with?

Should we all strive to be our own version of Wonder Woman? Or not?

I love hearing from you!

What Do You Choose to be Called?

Sexy, smart and strong women have long been nicknamed, most often by men. Some carry negative connotations and others are somewhat endearing.

A few examples:

Skirt, Doll, and Dish – Skirt and Doll imply a cute, flirty and fun girl. Dish says, to me, a woman so delectable, a man can’t live without her.

Broad, Dame and Twist – These are slightly less complimentary. A Broad is a voluptuous woman, mainly in the derriere and one you don’t dare cross. A Dame is like a Broad but she cares a little more about her looks, using well-applied make-up. A Twist, to me, connotes a woman with special skills in the boudoir.

Floozy, Strumpet and Trollop – All of these  names suggest a women with loose morals, but don’t they sound like  potent cocktails (Cherry Floozy) or delicious pastries (Strumpet and cream)?

And then, there are those often offered up with a dose of sarcasm:

Little Miss Sunshine: A woman who happens to be happy with her life and carries through with a positive attitude.

Susie Homemaker: A woman who enjoys making a comfortable home for her family and is adept at baking, decorating and choosing fashionable clothing (or making everything herself).

Superwoman: A woman who balances many hats with aplomb, like elder caretaker, employee, wife, gardener, cook, committee chairperson, community volunteer, PTA president and soccer mom.

The only nickname I wouldn’t mind being called is

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman first appeared in a comic book series in 1941.

Feminist, Gloria Steinem chose the image of Wonder Woman for the cover of her first issue of Ms. Magazine in July, 1972.

The TV series, Wonder Woman, followed in the late 1970s, starring Lynda Carter.

She was the perfect woman – powerful, graceful, sexy, tough, smart and compassionate, determined to expose the truth and punish the evil.

She looked really cute in glasses, too.

Male TV viewers fell in love/lust with her.

More than that, Wonder Woman was a great role model for all women. She didn’t let a man push her around, unless she wanted to be pushed.

She believed in herself and followed her heart, even when her path wasn’t what others wanted for her.

According to Wikipedia, “Wonder Woman’s viewpoints and characteristics reflect those of her creator, William Moulton Marston, who was a strong supporter of feminist ideals and female empowerment.

In a 1943 issue of The American Scholar, Marston wrote:

Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power. Not wanting to be girls, they don’t want to be tender, submissive, peace-loving as good women are. Women’s strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness. The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman.”
What image would you be comfortable with?

Shouldn’t we all strive to be our own version of Wonder Woman?

How to Build Your Summer Reading List and 15 Indie Author Links

Summer is well underway.  I’m happy when the sun shines and we’ve had lots of that for months,Sunshine, warmth, smiling now. We’ve all had plenty of time to make plans for enjoying the warmth and sunshine. Are you ready?

Have you planned your summer vacation?

Is the yard ready for outdoor entertaining? Gardening nearly done?

Good. The longer, more leisurely days of summer might afford you more time to read.

WAIT! Is your summer reading list ready? WHAT? You mean you have stacks of books all over your bedroom and your office and your living room? Oh, no! You’ve overloaded your eReader? How WILL you decide what to read this summer? YIKES!

Don’t panic. You can do this. We’re only two weeks into summer. Still plenty of time to prepare your list. Here we go.

1. Sort your TBR pile: Take a look at each title and decide whether it’s a book you want to read…ever. Create new piles: Keep, but read later; Give away; Top ten to read now.

2. Choose your genres: What are your go-to reads when you settled down in your hammock or stretch out on the beach? Chick-lit, romance, short stories, maybe a cozy mystery?

3. How much time do you have? As of today, there are officially 11 weeks of summer left; 8 weeks, if you consider Labor Day the end of your summer. Do you read a book a week, a book a month? Faster, slower? Don’t let anyone judge you on your pace but, do use it to figure out how many books should be in your Summer TBR Pile.

4. Check your favorite author’s titles: Have you read everything your favorite author wrote? Check his/her website or Amazon for more titles.

5. Destination or activity specific: Pick up a book that relates to your new passion. Maybe you’re planning to learn to grow herbs, travel to Alaska, or speak French.

6. Top ten pile: Only have 3 in your top ten pile?  Maybe you just need a new mix of books. Visit Goodreads  for recommendations on new books. You can find reviews there, too.But the best way to find new books to read is to ASK YOUR FRIENDS!

Reading a book on a tropical beach

Let’s have a summer reading round-up! Please offer your recommendations for this summer’s reading in the comments section. Here are several of mine:

Anything by these traditionally published best-selling authors:

For suspense/thriller/mystery:

Michael Connelly, Harlan Coben, James Rollins, Daniel Silva, Lee Child, Jeffrey Deaver

For Women’s Fiction and Romance:

Luanne Rice, Kristin Hannah, Barbara Delinsky, Christina Dodd, Barbara Freethy

Try some best-selling Indie Authors:

I could go on, but it’s your turn.

Lets load up the comments with tons of great books to read!

What are YOU reading and what authors can you recommend?

It’s Friday July 6th and that means it’s time to announce the winners of the Life List Club Milestone Party prize!

Today’s winner of the Sexy, Smart and Strong Women Blog prize is Kristin Nador!

Congratulations Kristin!

Please let me know whether you prefer an Amazon or Barnes & Noble eGiftCard.

You can email me at: Marcia dot A dot Richards at Gmail.com

The big gift card winner has been announced at the LLC blog! Head on over to see who it is!


No Such Thing as Too Many Girlfriends

Friendship love and truth

Happy 4th of July!!

While you’re celebrating our country’s independence and partying with family and friends, why not celebrate your friendships, as well?

Sorry, Guys, this post may not hold your attention, but it will make you wish you were a woman!… On second thought, maybe you guys should read this in order to understand the dynamics of GIRLFRIENDS.

The general consensus that men don’t talk about their feelings is just wrong, in my opinion. When I was single, I had several male friends who used to call me mainly to discuss their feelings. Any man who has an ounce of sensitivity has a need to talk about his feelings occasionally. They can’t talk to other men about them, that wouldn’t be manly! So, they talk to female friends, because it’s safe. Bottom line…all women, as well as single men, need girlfriends.

I always felt that the great high privilege, relief and comfort of friendship was that one had to explain nothing.
Katherine Mansfield

 

Being understood, accepted and loved exactly as we are is one of the greatest rewards of friendship.

 

But the ultimate reward was discovered in a Nurse’s Health Study from Harvard Medical School. It was found that the more friends women have, the less likely they are to develop medical problems as they age, and the more likely they are to live joyfully long lives.

Since women create the chemical, Oxytocin, which encourages nurturing and seeking comfort, studies show that having close girlfriends and confidants keeps us healthy and adds years to our lives. (It’s probably just as healthy for you guys.) This is yet another way to grow younger and healthier instead of growing unhealthy and decaying.

Anyone, man or woman, who has a close friendship with another woman, doesn’t need me to tell you how important that friendship is to your life and well-being. I can tell you though, that there are few ways to help that friendship last forever.

**Check criticism at the door. There is no room for that in a friendship.

**Leave envy and jealousy at home, too. Not only are those unattractive modes of behavior, they will chip away at the foundation of your relationship. Jealousy is a sign that you’re not feeling so lovable. We’ll talk about how to change that in a post next week.

**Never berate a friend’s spouse or children. It’s okay for a friend to vent about her family member, but no one else should join in. Just be supportive and a good listener, unless your friend is in danger of being physically harmed by the family member.

**Listen. Listening is the most powerful way to connect with people. Don’t offer advice. Wait to be asked.

**Don’t judge. No one has a right to judge another. Allow your friend to grow and change with your support.

**Celebrate your friendship. You can do that by simply telling your girlfriend how important she is in your life. At the other extreme, you can plan a “girlfriend getaway”. Depending on your common interests and your life situation, you may choose from a healing spa vacation, a no-holds-barred birthday blast, an adventurous escape, or a shopping splurge.

To heck with diamonds! Other girls are a girl’s best friend! Since There is No Such Thing As Too Many Girlfriends, get out there and make new ones! We’ll talk about how to connect and find more healthy relationships next week.

We need old friends to help us grow old and new friends to help us stay young.

– Letty Cottin Pogrebin

 

To each of my current and future girlfriends :
You are each the best part of my life. I treasure our friendship and will always be as good to you as you are to me.

I love hearing from you! Tell me, what is the best thing about girlfriends for you?

Don’t forget to hop on over to the Life List Club for Lara Schiffbauer’s patriotic 4th of July post!

1st Anniversary of LLC and Milestone Party!

Wine and chocolates

Welcome to LLC’s Milestone and 1st Anniversary party!

On May 27, 2011, I stumbled on Jess Witkins’,  Happiness Project. Her post was “The List” which laid out her goals for the next year when she would turn 26 yrs old.  She was inspired by Emily Jane’s “26 before 26” list.

I loved her and her list immediately! This was my comment:

“Hi Jess! I love the list. It’s no more boring than anyone else’s would be. What would you think about starting a community of writers who keep a list like this to work on over a 12 month period? Let me know what you think.”

And Jess’ response:Jess Witkins' Happiness Project

“I’m for a support network of writers making goals and holding each other accountable and realistic as we go out to achieve them. Shoot me an e-mail with ideas on how you think we could organize it.”

And  so, The Life List Club was born.

Our first posts published on July 1, 2011. My post, Welcome to the The Life List Club Kickoff! and Jess’ post, New Writer’s Network: The Life List Club introduced the LLC to all of our readers. Our first 3 writers joined us in writing posts over the course of that month: Jennie Bennett, Sonia Medeiros and Gene Lempp.

So many more amazing writers followed and helped build the LLC to what it is today. Jess and I appreciate their contributions and value the friendships we’ve grown over the past year.

 I’m ready to have a go at another year of the Life List Club. I know Jess and our contributing writers will stand with me.

Are you with us?

Good! Now it’s time to grab a beverage of your choice (I’m having a Martini) and something chocolate. Get comfy on the couch while I fill you in on the progress I’ve made in one year. Feel free to open a window to the Life List I wrote last July 1st to compare.


I’ll keep this part short:

Thanks to sticking with ROW80 for 3 1/2 rounds, I’ve completed the first draft of my novella. I’ve learned so much about writing, social media, marketing and publishing from reading excellent blogs, taking several online classes (currently taking a Holly Lisle class!) and being part of a few amazing groups of the most generous, supportive and knowledgeable men and women.

I have not been able to attend a writer’s conference yet, nor have I attempted making a podcast or book trailer. They will be moved to my 2012/2013 Life List.

In the past 12 months, I’ve read a total of 51 books. By July 1st, the total will be 53. Woohoo!

The household chores are more evenly split between hubs and I. We spend a generous amount of time together daily talking, laughing and dining. Everyday is a gift and I’m so grateful to spend it with him.

In the realm of fitness, I’ve lost a few pounds, refined my meal plans and finally figured out a workout routine that actually works for me!

C. S. Lewis' quote on setting goals

My 2012/2013 Life List:

1. No more cheater-readers. I can tell my eyes have finally reached the point where I need REAL glasses because I’m leaning closer to the laptop screen than ever before.

2. Get my novella, The Sins of Eve,  published by the end of August, 2012.

3. Write and publish the sequel, The Salvation of Eve, by the end of December, 2012.

4. Plot and write my series, Harleigh McAllister, Book 1, by January 31, 2013.

5. Learn how to do a podcast and book trailer for Eve and Harleigh books.

6. Take a mini-vacation during the Fall of 2012.

7. Clean basement and attic, gathering and selling household items and furniture we won’t need, in preparation for moving (hopefully) in 2013.

8. Paint my dozen chairs and other assorted glass and wood decorator pieces and sell them.

9. Continue my resolve to live in the moment, notice and appreciate the little things, play, and show my husband how much he’s appreciated every single day.

10. Continue to get fit…exercising twice a day most days and eating healthy, with a goal of dropping 50 pounds by my 60th birthday, 12/12/12. Continue the fitness quest in 2013.

I have a teaser for you…a hint as to what my Harleigh series will be about. I spent the first 6 years of my adult life riding with a motorcycle club (not a gang). This was my theme song back in the early 1970s.


*Could someone pour me another Cosmo?*

To our LLC readers/members:

We have a special prize for one lucky commenter on the Life List Club Blog’s Milestone Party/Anniversary Post

AND

The other writers may have a prize for one lucky commenter on his/her own blog, as well.

One more time you’ll have the pleasure of blog hopping the Life List Club to look for more prizes!

If you leave a comment on this blog, the LLC Blog and the other writer’s blogs, you would be entered to win several different prizes!

Win Prizes
The winner at my Sexy, Smart and Strong Women Blog will be awarded

a $10 eGift Card

from Amazon or Barnes & Noble, winner’s choice

The comments must be received between 6 AM (EST) June 29th and midnight (EST) July 5th.

All of the the winners will be announced on Friday, July 6th at LLC and the writers’ blogs.

LLC Writers’ blogs:

Jess Witkins

Sonia Medeiros

Gary Gauthier

Lara Schiffbauer

Sherry Isaac

When did you begin your Life List? Where are you on your progress meter? Please share. We love hearing from you!

What Creative Entrepeneurs Can Learn From Bette Davis

Strong women in films are hard to find today.

Women like Bette Davis, confident, strong and smart, set a standard for the rest of us that has endured over time, but has been copied less and less often.

Bette Davis wouldn’t have been called beautiful in her prime, nor was she the typical Hollywood starlet. She had a voice like a panther and sometimes an attitude to match.

She instinctively knew that she had to learn the lay of the land in order to get ahead. She didn’t look for parts that increased the glam-factor, but parts that were substantial and showed off her natural talent.

She was never one to ‘sleep her way to the top’ for the return of more money or better parts. She acted because she loved it. She interacted with her audience and appreciated the praise she received…because she loved her work.

Bette earned leading roles and  better salary by being authentic and developing her talent and style.

Bette Davis didn’t care about glamour, she cared about being recognizable.

Cropped screenshot of Bette Davis from the fil...

Cropped screenshot of Bette Davis from the film Of Human Bondage. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bette’s acting was authentic, as well. She loudly refused to act in a morning wake-up scene in full make-up and perfect hair. When a character role  called for her  to look beaten  or to have a bald head, she was adamant that was how it would be.

Bette Davis was the brightest example of all the tough Hollywood actresses. It wasn’t easy being strong. Women were scorned for speaking their minds. Bette once said, “When a man gives his opinion he’s a man. When a woman gives her opinion she’s a bitch.”

Bette stood her ground and kept it real. She was honest and forthcoming with everyone. The reaction was, “At least we know where she stands.”

Bette Davis succeeded as the most famous woman in the world using nothing more than raw talent, self-confidence and headstrong determination. And, she knew how to connect.

From an article found at StumbleUpon by Johann Hari “For a while, this not-especially-beautiful woman in her forties ruled Hollywood, playing tough women who chose their careers and their own desires over sacrificing for men or children or a picket fence. She never pretended to be dumb, or a little girl. She didn’t do soft, or simpering. She had a voice like sour cream, and eyes like a raven.” And she was one of the great events of her time.”

What does all this mean for creative entrepreneurs, like writers, musicians and artists?

Be authentically you. Use your real voice. Don’t fear the critics. Stick to what you believe is right for you.

Being a creative is not for sissies. Tough out the hard times. Revel in the good. Treat it like the business that it is.

Do what you love simply because you love it. Don’t do it for money. Realize it may take a very long time to actually make a living at it.

Support others like you. Praise their work. Reach out to your audience. Work for them more than for yourself.

Be a ‘great event’ of your time. Make a splash. Be unique. Be the best at what you do.

Aside from being an example to other creative folks, Bette Davis’ persona was a lesson for all women. She was strong, smart and sexy. Bette lived life fully and well. She was true to her ideals. She soaked up all the knowledge available to her.

Bette Davis was self-confident enough to demand to look bad on camera. She never played down her ambition or intellect to fit a preconceived notion of women.

As her biographer Ed Sikov says, “Bette Davis didn’t give a goddam. She dares us to hate her, and we often do. Which is why we love her.”

What do you think of Bette Davis? Do you know of another person who sets an example to follow?

You know I love to hear from you, please share your thoughts.

Don’t forget to stop by The Life List Club blog and visit Gary Gauthier who is posting today!

Friday is the 1st Anniversary of The Life List Club and it’s Milestone Friday! All of our writers will be partying at the LLC Blog as well as our own blogs. Don’t miss out on all the fun and prizes!